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Thread: Number of Hurricanes ferried to Ceylon by Indomitable

  1. #31
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    Back in October, 2010, l had a protracted discussion with the late Henk Welting on the identity of AUS404255 F/O Robert Nason NEILL's Hurricane. l wrote:

    "l found the other reference to AUS404255 Robert Nason NEILL RAAF l mentioned earlier. It was a list of possible Hurricane losses in the Far East on 5-4-1942. It was in my file on AUS400516 Sgt Allan John BROWNE RAAF, of No.30 Sqn., who was also lost on 5-4-1942. It was just a rough list l drew up to give me some idea of the possibilities. One of the Hurricanes on that list was Mk.I V7711 - 1SAAF/FE - SOC 6-4-42. l have no idea if V7711 was Neill's Hurricane, but it looks a possibility."

    Col.

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    Graham, thanks for the info. I’ve added that book to my “to buy” list now.

    Drew, thanks for your post. I wasn’t aware that 261 Sqn had Z5620 on its strength. Perhaps it was the aircraft which Bloody Shambles vol. 2 says was lost in an accident on 7 April or the one which WO Griffin damaged on 5 April by taxying into a ditch. I don’t have a serial number for either of these. ‘227’ would be BE227, flown on 9 April by Sgt Lockwood and shot down. ‘676’ would be BG676, flown on 9 April by Sgt Bowie and also shot down. Does Sgt Pearce’s log say what time he took off from Indomitable?

    Col Bruggy, many thanks. Recording ‘V7711’ in the ORB as ‘Z7711’ would be a more likely error than the one I suggested in my last post. I don’t have Halley’s volume which includes the V---- serials (and no longer have the one for the Z---- series which I had borrowed a while ago), but the website at http://www.k5083.mistral.co.uk/APS.HTM gives V7711 as one of 1250 Mark I’s produced by Gloster starting in July 1940 – along with Z4227, Z4247, Z4372 and Z4783. This source says that only 29 of these Mark I’s were converted to Mark II’s. It also says that the converted aircraft were all re-serialled. If V7711 was one of the 29 converted aircraft and it’s new serial number was Z5661 this would explain things, but http://www.k5083.mistral.co.uk/APS.HTM implies that Z5649 - Z5693 were Mk. IIB Hurricanes built by Gloster.

    Would anyone know if Z4783 and V7711 were converted to Mark II’s? It would be somewhat surprising if they weren’t, since they were grouped with Z4247, Z4227 and Z4372, presumably due to having similar performance.

  3. #33
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    A simple transcription error is likelier - other aircraft in the V7xxx converted to Mk.IIs were for sending to Russia and were recoded in the DG6xx series. I expect all such conversions to be for this reason rather than further RAF use. According to Air Britain, V7711 was with 1 SAAF then Far East. soc 6.4.42.

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    Graham, thanks for your response. The info that V7711 was SOC 6.4.42, the day after the raid on Colombo, certainly makes it likely that the ORB entry for Z7711 should read V7711.

    This still leaves the question of Z5661, which Halley says was operated only by 258 Sqn and was shot down on 5.4.42 but which is not listed in the ORB as having been flown against the Japanese. I note, however, that the ORB says that F/L Peacock-Edwards flew Z5461. Halley notes only that it was sent to the Far East and gives no clue as to its fate. If "Z5461" was mistakenly entered in the ORB instead of "Z5661", this would explain the discrepancy, but this is probably going to be very hard to confirm.
    Last edited by Rob Stuart; 16th October 2013 at 14:21.

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    The logbook of F/L Peacock-Edwards confirms Z5461.

    John

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    John, thanks for the info. For now at least, I'll just have to chalk up the note in Halley about Z5661 as an unexplained discrepancy.

    The 258 Sqn ORB has Peacock-Edwards, and the other 13 Hurricanes, taking off on 5 April at 07.35. It also has nine survivors, including Peacock-Edwards, all landing at 08.35. If I may ask, does his log book give the same timings? Also, does it note the date and time at which he took off from Indomitable?

    Thanks,

    Rob

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    Logbook confirms 1 hour 10 mins flying time on April 5th.

    Take off from Indomitable on March 6th. Flying time 1 hour.

    John

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    Thanks John. Since his log says he was airborne for 1 hour and 10 minutes on 5 April, then presumably he landed at 8.45.

    Cheers,

    Rob

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    A fascinating thread.

    Recently i was contacted by Geoff Oliver from UK who mailed me his grand uncle's photo album from his days in India and Ceylon. It had a few dozen photos of No.261 Squadron in Ceylon.

    Among the interesting photos are


    A note in the album confirming the presence of 62 Hurricanes. (Doesnt specify if it includes the onboard Sea Hurricanes or not)

    Photos of various Hurricanes at China Bay from No.261 Squadron including


    Hurricane BG957


    Hurricane Z5600 after a belly landing.


    I have scanned the entire album and uploaded it here
    Last edited by Jagan; 12th February 2015 at 03:22.

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    Default Indomitable Hurricanes to Ceylon, 6-7 March 1942

    Can anyone help identifying which (if any) of the following eleven Hurricanes were flown off by HMS Indomitable on 6-7 March 1942:
    BE242, BG689, BG692, BG819, BG870, BG872, BG916, BG936, BG937, BM901 and BM918.

    I have been researching (on and off) the Hurricanes of the so-called emergency allocations of December 1941 for Singapore, Burma and Ceylon mostly through research at then PRO, Kew and at AHB RAF and by exchanging data with others. More recently I have been trying to line up the 60 Hurricanes ferried by Indomitable for Ceylon. I'm aware of the 2011 discussions on this forum which I have followed with great interest but no more than that being too busy writing a book at the time.

    Help is appreciated.

    Peter Boer

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